I’ve been doing LOTS of trainings in the last few months. And getting a lot of the same types of questions.
They generally sound like:
“How do I know when a right time to ask so-and-so?”
“How do I know if that asking amount is too much?”
“This is what happened during the ask. I haven’t heard back in weeks. Do you think I offended her?”
Perhaps you have asked some of these yourself.
They’re good questions. And they’re motivated by a desire to do right.
But they all have a common denominator: only the donor knows the answer.
“Ask Without Fear” isn’t just about money
The only way you’ll really know the answers to these questions is to ask the other person.
For the timing question, I would not ask if it’s the right time. I’d just ask for the appointment.
For the amount question in face-to-face asks (in-person or on Zoom), I always encourage people to consider asking politely higher than they’d expected. (There are ways to do this without being a jerk. And please, don’t be a jerk.)
For the “did I offend her” question, ask. Practice the wording that makes the most sense to you. Test out different phrases until you find a couple that work.
People will tell you if you ask them
Thinking and praying and strategizing are important. But you can’t read donors’ minds any more than you can read your best friend’s mind. The good news is, these questions can be answered – and these relationships strengthened – by directly, politely asking.
Who do you need to ask this week?